Blood Brothers: Outstanding Drama with the Elden Street Players!By Laura & Mike Clark • Jul 30th, 2006 • Category: Reviews, Stand Out!
Listen to our review of Blood Brothers performed by Elden Street Players [MP3 7:20 2.1MB].
Mike: Blood Brothers is a musical written by Willy Russell. It’s basically the Prince and the Pauper. Two twins are separated at birth, one goes to a wealthy family and one stays with his birth family. It is a family with a lot of kids and the mother can’t take care of them too well. The two of them become friends, accidentally, and they discover they have the same birthday, so they decide to become blood brothers. The brother’s lives end in tragedy when they discover that they are in fact brothers in real life.
Andy Izquierdo as Mickey, Josh Doyle as Eddie
Laura: This was an incredibly good show. It was so well acted, well sung. The emotional intensity was really good, too. I highly recommend this show.
Mike: This was a superb show. It sounds kind of strange when you first hear the description. Actually the description simply can’t adequately describe how good this show is. The storyline is basically the prince and the pauper. We’ve all heard that or seen it on a sitcoms and other tv shows and movies. But this really has a neat twist in pulling the class structure of Britain into the basic storyline of the show. They build off of the classes and the prejudices of the different classes and it works really well. The relationship between the characters was great. The acting and the singing, the choreography of the numbers was really superb.
Laura: This is such a well performed show that we’re putting together a new classification of shows that really stand out to us.
Mike: Many of the shows we’ve seen have been pretty good. We’ve seen some that have not been good. We’ve seen some that have been outstanding. This is one of the outstanding shows. So what we’re doing to help give these shows a little more publicity. We’re going to designate shows that are superb in almost every way as a ShowBizRadio Stand Out Show. And Blood Brothers by Elden Street is definitely a Stand Out. We need you to go see this show. It is such a good show. You will be kicking yourself if you don’t get to go see it while it’s playing.
Laura: The role of Mrs. Johnstone, the birth mother of the twins, was played by Anita Miller. She did a great job. She had a really strong singing voice. She showed a lot of emotion. She showed a lot of love toward Mickey and Eddie which came across in her facial expressions and her emotions and I really enjoyed her performance very much.
Mike: The son that stayed with Mrs Johnstone was Mickey played by Andy Izquierdo. He did a great job in this part. He was very convincing as a seven year old. He had a really nice monologue that got a lot of chuckles from the audience explaining how a seven year old sees the world. He did great later as he was growing up through the teenage years. The final scenes with him, I’m not going to give the plot away, but going through what he has to go through. He did a great job. He had tremors in his hands at one point. You could see in Andy’s mannerisms as Mickey, that Mickey was just getting to his breaking point. The anger he brought to the discussion with Eddie and his feelings toward Linda. It was just a phenomenal performance.
Laura: The role of Eddie, the son that was given to the rich family, was played by Josh Doyle. He did an outstanding job. It was really neat to watch his progression from being seven, almost eight, up to adulthood and the things he went through. You could just sort of see the straight-laced kind of sheltered life that he led. It was really a powerful performance. He had a lot of emotion that really came across when he was growing up and and trying to figure things out.
Mike: There was one character in the show who didn’t really belong, but I can’t imagine this show without him. That was the part of the Narrator, or the Bogeyman, played by Nano Gowland. The Narrator would have been a very easy part to have been in the show far too often. But he wasn’t. He was in there exactly the right mount of time. The Narrator was used to add in details to the story. Such as some of the superstitions that the poorer family would share as their day-to-day lives would go on. All in all the narrator added a lot of detail to the show and really made it a complete show. He reminded me when he first came on of Fagan from Oliver! It kind of took me aback for a second and once he started singing and performing it didn’t matter. It was the perfect look for that character. I can’t imagine this show any other way at this point.
Nano Gowland as the Narrator
Laura: The set was really good. It was a simple set because again this is a character driven show and doesn’t need a lot of props and things. There were enough things there that you could figure out each family’s station in life. The beginning set was in the city and then when the rich family moved out into the country they had a different backdrop that was more of a country setting which I thought was really well done.
Mike: One of the incredible parts of this show was the aging process. The main characters Mickey and Eddie had to age from age seven all the way up to their mid twenties. And they did a great job with that. Aging is so much more than the look of the person. It’s how they walk and how they carry things. It’s the voices change, all those things. Both Andy and Josh did a great job in managing that. There’s one song called Kid’s Game where the ensemble comes in and they play some kid’s games such as cowboys and indians, cops and robbers. I can remember all those things from being a kid. The rules change every which way. You use what you’ve got handy, such as a stick for a gun or a few feathers for an indian headdress. They did a really good job with that. The different characters putting on different small parts to emphasize what game they were playing. I really liked that song a lot.
Laura: The sound was also really well done. There was a live orchestra. The way they had them situated was behind a curtain so they were not directly on stage. They were in the background so the music did not overpower the singers. I really liked that very much.
Mike: Blood Brothers is playing through Saturday the nineteenth of August. Make sure you go get tickets. They were sold out last night for opening night. You definitely want to go see this show. We definitely recommend it. Once you’ve seen the show, please leave your thoughts about it at ShowBizRadio.net.
Laura: We’d also like to invite you to join our mailing list so you can receive information about events and shows in the Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, and DC region. Just go to ShowBizRadio.net/subscribe/.
Mike: Our next review will be the musical 1776 performed by the Sterling Playmakers in Sterling Virginia.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
Photographs courtesy of Elden Stret Players, photos by Richard Downer
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1761.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.